Saturday, December 8, 2012

Comfort Quilt for Bobbi

When we found out that our Foothills President had been diagnosed with cancer we decided we wanted to make her a comfort quilt. Our members donated "hugs" blocks and I had the honor of making them into a quilt.

With the number of blocks submitted I decided I could make a quilt of 6 blocks across and 9 blocks down without leaving any blocks out.  Well almost anyway - I was 4 blocks short.  So I decided to make a center block to make it work.  Since we're quilters, I decided on a little embroidered quilter girl, who was embroidering the word "hugs".

Next I thought about what could work for the borders.  I found a picture of a quilt with an applique border that I thought she'd like.  I made the wimsical flowers in the bright fabrics that she prefers. Then I thought that I really didn't want a full border of flowers because I wanted to leave some open space for qulting some feathers for her.  Lots of planning and decisions later, here's the finished quilt and some close-ups of the flowers, the center, and the quilted feathers.


Christmas Cookies

We had a cookie exchange at our Foothills Christmas Party on Tuesday.  I took and brought home 3 dozen cookies.  I tried some new recipes this year so thought I'd post them in case you want to try them.  The the Snowballs were delicious (if you like coconut), the Chocolate Pudding Cookies were just okay, but the Cottage Cheese Cookies were especially wonderful.

1/2 cup of icing sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 tsp. of almond, vanilla, or peppermint extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 container of store purchase icing*
Cream the sugar, butter, shortening and extract thoroughly.
Measure flour onto a square of wax paper, add salt, stir well to blend.
Add blended dry ingredients to creamed mixture, mix well.  Shape into 1" balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 - 10 mins.   Cool on cookie rack.
Dip tops into thing icing, then into the coconut.  Makes 4 dozen. You can add food coloring to the icing for a more festive look! 
*make your own icing: ¼ c. butter, 1 c. powdered sugar, ¼ tsp vanilla or almond extract.  Makes ½ cup.  Can add up to 1 TB milk if too thick.
 Chocolate Pudding Cookies
4 oz. pkg. instant chocolate pudding and pie mix (1 box)
1 c. Bisquick baking mix (or Bisquick light)
¼ c oil
2 eggs
Chocolate type chips for decorating (any variety)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put pudding mix & baking mix in a bowl.  Mix together.  Add oil % eggs.  Mix until dough forms a large ball.  Shape into ½” balls (I made mine into 1” balls).  Roll in powdered sugar.  Place on ungreased or on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet – about 2” apart.  Press your thumb in the middle of each to make a thumbprint.  Put chocolate chip in the thumbprint.  Bake for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned (I baked mine for about 15 minutes because they were larger).  Cool and put into a covered container.  May need to add a slice of bread to keep soft.

Cottage Cheese Cookies
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
1 c. cottage cheese
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine ingredients.  Roll into small balls and roll in white sugar combined with colored sprinkles.   Put on greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Bake for 11 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool and put into a covered container.  May need to add a slice of bread to keep moist.

We had table favors at the Christmas Party.  My friend Laura makes homemade candies for them each year and this year decided to make fundge instead.  She made maple walnut fudge, and cinnamon fudge.  I said I'd help by making chocolate fudge.  Here's the easy recipe I used - easy  but delicious.

                Foolproof Chocolate Fudge

3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can
Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
Dash salt
1/2 to 1 cups chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
LINE 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.
MELT chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
CHILL 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.